BMW will in summer 2015 release the 2-series Grand Tourer, a longer and mildly restyled Active Tourer with a stretched wheelbase and longer rear overhang to free up even more space for limbs and luggage within this most practical of BMWs.
Thanks to the extended roofline and the almost upright tailgate, the Grand is said to provide just enough headroom for adult passengers in row three, which is an optional extra.
Expect to see the Grand Tourer in early summer 2015, with UK sales by September.
Click here for our BMW 2-series Active Tourer review.
A seven-seater, front-wheel drive BMW people carrier? Now I’ve heard it all…
The seven-seater 2-series Grand Tourer is aimed unashamedly at family users. But delete seats six and seven to stick with the regular five-seat layout, and you’ll get a cargo deck spacious enough to swallow a couple of mountain bikes.
To make it easier for the backbenchers to enter and exit this high-roof BMW, the second-row seats slide back and forth and feature folding backrests. So Tough Mudder-spec clambering required to get in and out should be kept to a minimum.
The UK is likely to major on the seven-seat option, with little demand expected for the five-seat Grand Tourer. That’s what the 2-series ACT is for, see?
A plug-in hybrid for the BMW 2-series Tourer family
It’s not just the bigger cabin that sets the Grand Tourer apart from the 2-series Active Tourer. Equally significant is the planned availability of a plug-in hybrid powertrain offering silent-running in low-emissions zones, a cut in CO2 and greater fuel economy at all times.
While almost all rivalling hybrids drive the front wheels, BMW’s eDrive concept connects to the rear wheels via a 102bhp electric motor.
According to sources from within R&D, this application offers distinct traction and weight distribution benefits, along with four-wheel torque vectoring. Expect to see it first on the regular 2-series Active Tourer as early as 2015.
So who’ll buy the BMW 2-series Grand Tourer?
BMW is busy filling every which niche, as the premium car makers expand at a breakneck speed. But there’s method in the madness, and Munich is certain it has identified family buyers wanting a premium badge, seven seats and not a crossover bodystyle.
The new buyers this range is attracting are a mix of young families, who are tempted by the ease of lugging car seats and children in and out, and empty-nester grandparents, who equally enjoy the semi-command driving position and creature comforts.
Over its lifecycle, the Bavarians hope to sell 300,000 Active Tourers and 200,000 units of the bigger sister model. That’s half a million models off the bat.